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Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner 2015

The Eleventh Annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner

TD Convention Center, Greenville, SC
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The eleventh annual Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards Dinner took place on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at the TD Convention Center in Greenville. Hosted by the Riley Institute and Greenville Chamber along with support from other Upstate chambers, this annual event honors individuals, schools, and organizations who exhibit leadership in promoting diversity in the Upstate.

The keynote speaker was Bill Barnet, CEO of Barnet Development Corporation and former mayor of Spartanburg, who delivered powerful remarks about the need for collaboration and education as we move forward into the future.

At this year’s event, Calder Ehrmann’s legacy was celebrated as was his unwavering commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the Upstate. As one of the event’s founders and namesake of the Calder D. Ehrmann Outstanding Individual award, it was a privilege to reflect on Calder’s work and an honor to remember his life, service and friendship.


Awards were presented to recognize five individuals, three organizations and one K-12 school for their outstanding achievement in promoting diversity in the Upstate.

Award Winners:

Calder D. Ehrmann Outstanding Individual: Serita Acker, director of Women in Science and Engineering Program, Clemson University

Outstanding High School Student: Carlos Pineda, Mauldin High School
Honorable MentionOutstanding High School Student categoryR.J. Rogers, Blue Ridge High School

Outstanding College StudentJonathan Kubakundimana, Furman University

Outstanding Non-Profit OrganizationUnited Way of Greenville County (accepted by Ted Hendry, Jeremy Master, Sean Dogan, Adela Mendoza, Cynthia Chance and Yvonne Reeder)
Honorable Mention, Outstanding Non-Profit OrganizationGreenville Technical College

Outstanding Business: Denny’s Corporation (accepted by John Miller, Jill Van Pelt, Wally Harris, Deanna Banister, Scott Melton, April Kelly-Drummond, and Michelle Hunt)

Outstanding Contribution to International DiversityJoy Duer, Eastside High School

K-12 School: William “Bill” T. Wylie Valued Lives Award for School Excellence in DiversityLegacy Charter School (accepted by Fred Crawford)

Press Coverage:

The Greenville News